Despite donating the most in dollar amount to humanitarian causes in 2010, the United States was not the most generous country in the world. That year (the most recent for which figures are available), the U.S. government provided $4.9 billion in humanitarian assistance, according to the Global Humanitarian Assistance 2012 report, the most of all countries, including EU institutions combined ($1.7 billion).
The country to donate the second-highest amount that year was United Kingdom, which donated $943 million, about a fifth of the U.S.’ donations.
However, when you take the size and wealth of countries into account, the U.S. is not really as generous as it seems. Of the 29 countries that donated more than $25 million to humanitarian causes in 2010, the U.S. ranked 14th in terms of generosity.
Here’s how we calculated “generosity”: we divided per capita donations by per capita income for all countries for the 29 countries that donated more than $25 million, and then ranked based on that calculation.
This calculation doesn’t take into account the fact the countries with less money to begin with are less likely to be able make generous donations.
Among the most generous countries were Norway, Finland, Luxembourg, Denmark and, of course, Sweden. Among the least generous were China, Brazil, India, Russia and Turkey.
Here’s a chart with the data for all 29 countries: